An open letter to Willie Aames.

Dear Willie Aames,

When I was younger, my father went to jail. It was in jail that he found Jesus. After his release, he began to mend his relationship with me. A huge part of that was Saturday mornings at Christian Supply Store in Portland, OR. They had a kids hour where we sat and watched puppets or artists and it was great fun. Every so often, there would be a fun parking lot carnival day. It was at one of these carnivals that my life would change, thanks to you.

My dad convinced me to check out a show they were having around the corner, towards the back parking lot. Myself and maybe eight or nine other kids sat on the ground and watched Bibleman. Afterwards we got to meet Bibleman.. you in purple spandex.

Immediately following, I collected all four (only four!) Bibleman videos, and the CDs. Everytime you were at Christian Supply Store, so was I.

@ The Portland Expo Center

Once there was some Christian convention at the Expo Center, and you were there. I believe the year was 1998. You’d moved away from the dancing/singing idea and were more actiony.. which I wasn’t happy with, but dealt with anyway.

The next (and last) time I saw you was in 2002 or 2003.You had a show at a big church in Portland and my dad and I decided to get tickets. A few minutes before the show started, I walked to the front  of the church and looked back at the sold out building. As I walked back to my dad, I was beaming with pride. From a handful of us in the Christian Supply Parking lot to that? And how many more churchfulls of families were there across America?

Earlier this year, I read about your struggles.. the turn in your life. I called my dad and we both sat on the phone, speechless, hurting for you. Not out of disappointment or anger, but out of pain. You unknowingly were one of the biggest factors in the mending of our relationship in the months after he got out of jail. You taught me Scripture, songs to help me remember Scripture, and those things have had such an impact on me that I still frequently use things I’ve learned from the Bibleman videos when talking to people.

Today I saw your episode of Famous and Broke, and I am pretty sure I was in some state of crying throughout the whole thing. But mostly:

I am proud of you. You are, and always have been, a person who has meant a lot to me. In a purple spandex suit or a business suit, you are important. The good you have done in the lives of countless children (and the joy you brought to countless young girls back in the day!) remains.

Watching Broke and Famous, your demeanor reminded me of my dad. He still has a temper and occassionally has to slip me some quarters if he swears, but he is a man of God. I wasn’t able to find out how your faith has been affected through all of this or where you are at now spiritually, but I hope that your life is still a reflection of the opening credits of Bibleman –

Miles Peterson… A man who had it all: wealth, status, success. But still, something was lacking. Miserable, alone, his spirit beaten, Miles Peterson gave up. Then, in his darkest hour, the words of a single book began to change his life. At last, Miles Peterson felt the burning desire to know God. Inspired by the Word of God, and equipped with unyielding faith, Miles pledged to fight evil in the name of God..

Love,

Stephanie

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5 thoughts on “An open letter to Willie Aames.

  1. Your experience and your words are so heart-felt and strong. I gotta know Willie will be so encouraged by this letter to him.

    Like David in the Bible, we all have to come to want and pursue our own honest and open relationship with God — a God that wants to be less like a authority figure (dictacting) and more like a true friend (companion on life’s journey). He desires an open and a contrite heart (ps. 51) — something you and your father have shared, it seems.

    Your testimony is incredibly touching. Thank you for being bold enough to share it. I hope others who have similar experiences will also reach out and help build up in order to silence those who criticize/judge and tear Willie down. Let’s pray that God gives him a teflon coating!

  2. Dear Stephanie,
    I rarely comment on any blogs (or read them). However in these last days I have a friend that has taken an interest in sending me certain comments like yours. Rather than discuss the personal pain involved, I want to thank you for your encouragement and reminding me of such fond memories. My BibleMan days are among my favorite. More to the point, your comments are the first I have received that actually encourage with and not judge. To answer your question: My life is rebuilding as is my relationship with my daughter. My faith in Christ remains, but I must admit that spiritual healing may have come more quickly had someone (anyone) had acted as you have and simply reached out and asked the question. You have taken the one step so many have not. For that you should be praised. At the same time I do not take lightly the fact that your memories are being used by God to reconcile me to both Himself and his people. I thank you. Hug your dad… we dad’s need it.

  3. Stepho – you are a gem! You’re soft heart is one that has always been used by God – my kids know it, kids at camp know it, anyone that comes into contact with you knows it. Keep your heart soft and open to be used by God…he will work powerfully through you.

    Willie – know that you are prayed for – unfortunately we don’t say that enough.

  4. I read Grace is Enough in 3 days over Thanksgiving 2009. I was heartbroken to hear of Willies separation. I still have hope for them that they may reconcile. The book was a great read and one has to be left with the fact that no matter what we go through in this life if we are God’s children he is with us and will get us through. I have always looked at it as he is refining us like gold and with every trial we become shinier and more polished. God will never leave you Willie nor forsake you. Stay strong and trust in Him.

  5. Pingback: I go back to December all the time… « just a little bit louder.

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